BANGOR, Maine — Two astronauts who returned Monday from the International Space Station touched down briefly in Bangor on Tuesday as they made their way from Kazakhstan to Houston.
Canadian Chris Hadfield, who served as commander for the space station’s Expedition 35, tweeted at 8:15 p.m.: “Back in North America! Walking around the Bangor, Maine airport, getting my Earth legs back. Fresh, clean air has never been so sweet.”
Hadfield captured the world’s attention during his time in space with his tweets showing the world from above as well as videos posted to YouTube that ranged from how to perform simple tasks, such as wringing out a dishcloth, in space, to a cover of a David Bowie song that has received nearly 8 million views since Sunday.
Accompanying Hadfield was American astronaut Tom Marshburn.
The pair landed in Bangor from Glasgow at approximately 7:40 p.m. Tuesday on a NASA jet, according to an airplane tracking website. The plane left at 8:30 on the final leg of its trip to Houston.
The Bangor International Airport serves as a dual-purpose commercial and Air National Guard airport. It boasts one of the longest runways on the East Coast — long enough to handle a Space Shuttle, even — and its location as the first major U.S. airport planes encounter when flying from Europe and the last major airport planes pass on their way to Europe makes it a popular destination for refuelings and diversions.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Bangor International Airport is the last airport planes encounter when flying from the U.S. to Europe and the first airport planes can land at when flying to the U.S. from Europe. It is the last (or first) major U.S. airport.